Transcript: Ontario Hubs: Mental Health of Yazidi Refugees | Mar 08, 2019

Jeyan sits in the studio. He's is in his thirties, with short black hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Ontario Hubs: Mental health of Yazidi refugees. An ongoing struggle. Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO. @theagenda."

Jeyan says REFUGEES WHO FIND SAFE
HAVEN IN CANADA FACE MANY
CHALLENGES UPON ARRIVAL.
FOR SOME, THAT INCLUDES DEALING
WITH THE SEVERE TRAUMA RESULTING
FROM WHAT THEY LEFT BEHIND.
HUNDREDS OF YAZIDIS FROM IRAQ
RESETTLED IN SOUTHWESTERN
ONTARIO, AND LONDON IS TRYING TO
MEET THEIR MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS
WITH US FOR MORE, FROM OUR
STUDIO AT WESTERN UNIVERSITY,
OUR SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO HUBS
EDITOR, MARY BAXTER.

Mary is in her forties, with shoulder-length wavy brown hair. She's wearing a black blouse.

Jeyan continues WELCOME TO THE SHOW, MARY.

Mary says THANKS, JEYAN.
GOOD TO SEE YOU.

Jeyan says GOOD TO SEE YOU.
CLOSE TO A THIRD OF THE YAZIDI
REFUGEES IN THE PAST SEVERAL
YEARS HAVE SETTLED IN LONDON.
TELL US WHAT BROUGHT THEM THERE.

Mary says THEY IDENTIFIED BY THEIR
RELIGION.
IT'S MADE THEM A TARGET OVER THE
PAST SEVERAL CENTURIES OF
OTHERS, AND THEY ESTIMATE THE
YAZIDI PEOPLE ESTIMATE THAT THEY
EXPERIENCED 74 GENOCIDAL EFFORTS
TO JUST BASICALLY OBVIOUSLY
DESTROY THEIR COMMUNITIES.
MOST RECENT ONE OF THOSE WAS IN
2014.
IT WAS THE ISLAMIC STATE COMING
IN AND INVADING AND DESTROYED
THEIR HOMES, DROVE PEOPLE FROM
VILLAGES.
CAPTURED MEN AND BOYS AND KILLED
THEM, CAPTURED WOMEN AND MADE
THEM THEIR SEX SLAVES, AND THOSE
WHO COULD FLED TO THE MOUNTAIN
AND TRIED TO SURVIVE THERE.
THE ISLAMIC STATE HAS RETREATED,
BUT MANY PEOPLE ARE STILL LIVING
ON THE MOUNTAIN OR IN REFUGEE
CAMPS.
AND IN 2017, CANADA WANTED TO
BRING OVER ROUGHLY 1200 YAZIDI
PEOPLE TO RE-SETTLE HERE UNDER
THE REFUGEE PROGRAM, AND SO
PEOPLE WENT TO TORONTO, LONDON,
WINNIPEG AND CALGARY, AND THEY
WENT TO PLACES WHERE THERE WAS
ALREADY SOME YAZIDI POPULATIONS.
SO NOW IN LONDON THE YAZIDI
POPULATION NUMBER IS JUST UNDER 500.

A picture shows a refugee camp with hundreds of white tents.

Jeyan says LET'S TALK ABOUT THE
RE-SETTLEMENT EFFORTS.
HOW IS IT DIFFERENT WITH THE
YAZIDIS WHEN YOU COMPARE IT TO
OTHER REFUGEE GROUPS?

The caption changes to "Treating the trauma."

Mary says THE BIG ISSUE, OF COURSE, IS
THE INCREDIBLE TRAUMA THAT
THEY'VE EXPERIENCED BECAUSE IT'S
INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA BECAUSE
THEY JUST HAVE THIS LONG HISTORY
OF BEING HARASSED AND
THREATENED.

Jeyan says AND OBVIOUSLY IT
SOUNDS LIKE MORE CAN BE DONE.
YOU'VE EXPLORED THAT IN YOUR
ARTICLE.
WHAT MORE CAN BE DONE FOR THE
YAZIDI NEWCOMERS IN THE LONDON
AREA AND THE PROVINCE?

The caption changes to "Mary Baxter. Southwest Ontario Hub Editor."
Then, it changes again to "Search for solace."

A screenshot from the TVO website pops up showing an article. It reads "tvo.org/current-affairs, Ontario Hubs, On-the-ground analysis of regional issues. Southwestern. Meeting the mental-health needs of London's Yazidi refugees. By Mary Baxter."

Mary says ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THEY
ARE WORKING ON IS THAT THEY ARE
WORKING ON A PILOT PROGRAM OF
COUNSELLING THAT THEY'RE HOPING
TO BE ABLE TO PILOT IN LONDON.
SOME OF THE MENTAL HEALTH
ORGANIZATIONS AND AGENCIES HERE.
AND TO EVENTUALLY ROLL IT OUT
ACROSS CANADA TO BE ABLE TO
ADAPT THE PROGRAM TO OTHER
REFUGEE GROUPS WHO HAVE ALSO
EXPERIENCED EXTREME TRAUMA.
THERE'S BEEN A PUSH FEDERALLY TO
TRY TO SPEED UP THE ABILITY FOR
THE OTHER YAZIDI TO COME OVER
AND JOIN THEIR FAMILIES HERE,
WHICH THEY THINK IS REALLY
HELPFUL IN TERMS OF TRAUMA.
BUT IT'S ALSO HAD A HUGE IMPACT
ON RESOURCES HERE IN LONDON, FOR
INSTANCE, WITH THE... SOME OF
THOSE THAT ARE COUNSELLING IN
TERMS OF MONEY.
THERE'S BEEN LOTS OF SURPRISES.
SO FOR INSTANCE RIDING PUBLIC
TRANSIT IS A REAL TRIGGER POINT
FOR MANY PEOPLE BECAUSE IT WAS
ON BUSES THAT THEY EXPERIENCED
ASSAULT, RAPE, AND SO THEY'RE
FRIGHTENED.
THERE'S BEEN MONEY THAT'S HAD TO
BE SPENT TO PROVIDE THEM WITH
ALTERNATE TRANSIT TO BE ABLE TO
GET TO COUNSELLING.
SOME... THE ISSUES OF THE IMPACT
OF ALL OF THOSE... THAT TRAUMA
IS FAR MORE THAN ANYONE
ANTICIPATED.
GOVERNMENT... ADVOCATES AND
DOCTORS ARE PUSHING FOR MORE
MONEY TO BE ABLE TO TREAT THAT,
AND SO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
HAS BEEN ON BOARD SAYING THAT IT
WOULD AGREE TO BRINGING FAMILIES
OVER, BUT THE FEDERAL
CONSERVATIVE IMMIGRATION CRITIC
HAS... WHO HAS CHAMPIONED THE
YAZIDI CAUSE FOR SEVERAL YEARS
NOW, HAS SAID THEY'RE NOT MOVING
FAST ENOUGH.
SO IT'S STILL IN FLUX.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Jeyan says WELL, VERY IMPORTANT
STORY.
I KIND OF WANT TO CHANGE GEARS A
LITTLE BIT.
THERE'S A STORY THAT WE JOINED
FORCES ON, AND IT'S ABOUT TWO
BORDER CITIES THAT ARE
COLLABORATING THROUGH MUSIC.
WHAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT FOR YOU
COVERING THAT PIECE?

The caption changes to "Mary Baxter, @MaryBWord."
Then, it changes again to "In tune with each other."

Mary says IT WAS REALLY FUN TO HEAR
ABOUT SOME OF THE CHALLENGES OF
WORKING CREATIVELY ACROSS THE
BORDER, BECAUSE JUST THINK,
LIKE, FOR EVERY TIME THAT YOU DO
A PERFORMANCE, YOU'RE HAVING TO
GO INTO ANOTHER COUNTRY.
YOU KNOW, AND ONE OF THE
QUESTIONS THAT I ASKED THE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WAS: WELL,
YOU KNOW, WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU'RE
HELD UP AT THE BORDER?

Jeyan says I DON'T THINK A LOT OF
PEOPLE KNOW THIS ABOUT ME, MARY,
BUT IN HIGH SCHOOL I WAS WHAT
YOU CALL A BAND NERD, AND I
PLAYED THE TRUMPET, AND SEEING
KIND OF THE FULL PERFORMANCE
THAT THE ISO PUT TOGETHER WAS
PROBABLY THE BIGGEST HIGHLIGHT FOR ME.

Mary says OH, THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A
LOT OF FUN, I'M SURE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."

Jeyan says IT DEFINITELY WAS.
WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH, MARY.
IT'S ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO HAVE
YOU ON THE SHOW.
THAT'S MARY BAXTER, OUR HUB
EDITOR FROM SOUTHWESTERN
ONTARIO.
THANKS AGAIN, MARY.

Mary says THANKS JEYAN

An animated slate reads "Ontario Hubs. Ontario Hubs are made possible by The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

Watch: Ontario Hubs: Mental Health of Yazidi Refugees